A loss of confidence in the economy among older customers helped knock UK sales at life assurer Aviva by 25%, according to the company's third-quarter management statement.
Customers close to retirement delayed purchasing annuities, while pension savers either reduced or stopped their monthly payments, hitting the company's core pensions and annuity businesses over the first three months of the year.
Royal Bank of Scotland has used up nearly half of the £60bn buffer available before it is able to hand 90% of its losses on toxic assets to the taxpayer through the asset protection scheme. Stephen Hester, chief executive of the bank, insisted today that RBS should not need to call upon the insurance for its £282bn of troubled assets through the APS as its impairment charge was levelling off.
The bank has used £27bn of the buffer and today published information about the assets being insured by taxpayer. Some £120bn are in the non-core division created by Hester to hold businesses being sold, while £75bn are contained within the investment bank. In terms of the type of loans, just £15bn are residential mortgages while £51bn are loans connected to commercial property.
Royal Bank of Scotland has admitted for the first time that the European Union is forcing it to sell off more assets than it planned.
RBS told the City this morning that it hopes to have concluded a deal with the EU over its state aid support by the end of this week. The price of this deal, it warned, is that it will have to sell parts of its operations which it hoped to hang on to after it was restructured.
Many have invested thousands to protect their homes from flooding, but these efforts are rarely rewarded by insurers.
"People are coming to us with huge premiums and flood excesses of up to £30,000, which is as good as having no insurance at all and makes their property virtually worthless," says Mary Dhonau, chief executive of the National Flood Forum, a charity that advises flood victims. "The problem has got steadily worse over the past year and we are now being overwhelmed by calls from homeowners who have spent a huge amount protecting their property, but are still being charged ridiculous premiums or refused cover altogether."
Austria-based UNIQA Group is all set to acquire a further 23% of the share capital in Albanian insurance company, Sigal. The move would increase its share in Sigal and its subsidiaries in Kosovo and Macedonia, to around 68.7%.
The relevant agreements with the former shareholders were signed on November 11, 2009. However, the 13% holding of Albanian American Enterprise Fund (AAEF) in Sigal will remain unchanged. Additionally, UNIQA also has finalised options to purchase the remaining shares over the next few years.
Willis Europe, a division of Willis Group Holdings, has appointed Niek Post as CEO of its Dutch operations, effective immediately. Based in Amsterdam, Mr. Post will report to Adam Garrard, CEO of Willis Continental Europe.
Mr. Post, who has more than 25 years of experience in the Dutch insurance market, joins Willis from Aon Netherlands where he was most recently responsible for strategic global client relationships, with a particular focus on financial institutions.
The Hartford Financial Services Group (The Hartford) has introduced its enhanced flagship cyber liability policy to address emerging online reputation and privacy exposures. Drew Bartkiewicz, vice president of cyber and new media risk at The Hartford, said: “We’re seeing widespread adoption of social media technologies among businesses in virtually every industry. At the same time, data is becoming increasingly regulated, which is creating new exposures, particularly in the areas of data privacy and reputational risk.”
With CyberChoice 2.09, The Hartford now offers broader coverage for data privacy breaches and social media liability exposures, such as online defamation, advertising, libel and slander, by employees or casual users of a company’s web site.
Exigen Insurance Solutions, a provider of insurance core systems, has announced that AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah has selected Exigen Insurance Solutions' underwriting, policy administration and billing solutions for auto, homeowners and all other personal lines of business for its operations spanning 18 states.
The Exigen Suite applications PolicyCore and BillingCore will allow AAA NCNU to rapidly expand and enhance its insurance product offerings and customer service to many members from a technology platform that supports long-term business growth.
Assurance Limited, a full-service insurance agency in Las Vegas, has joined RiskProNet International, a network of 24 independent insurance brokers in North America. Reportedly, RiskProNet members in 2008 had combined revenues in excess of $688 million and over $6.5 billion in written premium.
Each partner is an equal owner in the association, which gives its members the geographic diversity and shared knowledge base to serve clients with national, international or specialised exposures to risk. Through its alliances with brokers around the world, RiskProNet members can serve clients globally.
Cooper Gay Holdings, an independent insurance and reinsurance broker, has acquired majority of the shareholding in Reinsurance.com.ar, a Florida-based specialist reinsurance broker. Reinsurance.com focuses on treaty and facultative reinsurance solutions, primarily for the Argentine market. The company was set up in 2006 by Guillermo Pastore.
Mr Pastore has over 20 years’ experience in the Latin American reinsurance sector and was formerly COO of EW Blanch and Benfield Greig in Argentina. Mr Pastore will continue as CEO and will drive expansion in support of Cooper Gay’s strategy for the region.
Willis Group Holdings, an insurance broker, has planed to expand its Willis Commercial Network business model for serving independent brokers from its base in the UK to countries around the world. The company has appointed Mark Radburn as CEO of Willis Networks International to oversee the expansion. Mr Radburn, will report to Sarah Turvill, CEO, Willis International.
Mr Radburn joined Willis from JLT in 1996 as Sales & Marketing Director for the Willis UK & Ireland central region. He was appointed as managing director in 2002.
Farmers Group's CEO, Robert Woudstra, and Zurich Financial Services' CEO of Global Life Americas, Kevin Hogan have announced the appointment of Thomas White as president and CEO of Farmers Life, and executive vice president of Farmers Group. Mr White succeeds Paul Patsis, who recently assumed the role of president of market management and executive vice president of Farmers Group.
Mr. White joins Farmers from AIG in Asia, where he was president and CEO of AIA Thailand, and senior regional life division executive responsible for Vietnam and Indonesia.
Concordis Group has finalised the acquisition of Concordis Insurance. Concordis Insurance provides a variety of custom-tailored insurance solutions to captive programs, risk retention groups, self-insured clients, insurance companies and both public and private entities.
Trent Sommerville, CEO of Concordis Group, stated, "We are thrilled to finalise this great business opportunity. This acquisition is a tremendous next step for Concordis as it will enable us to bring a greater breadth of services to our customers."
Hillross Financial Services (Hillross), a wealth management firm which is wholly owned by AMP, has agreed to acquire Rabo Financial Advisors, the financial planning arm of Rabobank Australia & New Zealand.
As part of the transaction, Hillross and Rabobank have also entered into an ongoing alliance where Hillross will be the exclusive provider of financial planning advice to Rabobank’s clients, through a referral agreement between the two companies.
European liability insurers braced for claims
12 October 2009
D&O and E&O insurers in Europe expect to fare better than their American counterparts in the financial crisis. But the threat of increasing claims still looms.
After more than a year of plummeting share prices, widely-publicised defaults and international fraud scandals, liability insurers across Europe have plenty of reasons to worry. They may not expect to be hit as badly as their North American peers, but the same question will be on their minds: how much is it all going to cost? So far, the much-anticipated surge of liability claims from the financial crisis has not materialised. But insurers across Europe have reported an increase in notifications, many of which are related to the crisis.
“There are figures being suggested by some insurers that they’re seeing up to three times the number of notifications,” says Adam Codrington, executive director in Aon’s directors’ and officers’ liability (D&O) team. “We are certainly seeing more notifications to D&O contracts on commercial accounts, but it’s an increase in frequency rather than severity at the moment.”
Dutch Delta eyes ING, ASR assets
06 November 2009
Dutch insurer, Delta Lloyd, may purchase the insurance assets of ING Group and ASR Verzekeringen, CEO Niek Hoek said Thursday at an analyst meeting, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Dutch insurer, Delta Lloyd, may purchase the insurance assets of ING Group and ASR Verzekeringen, CEO...
General info on interested buyers of AIG's insurance units
Climate change to cost insurers: ABI
04 November 2009
Property insurance could become more expensive and harder to obtain as a result of global climate change, according to a new report published by the Association of British Insurers. Property insurance could become more expensive and harder to obtain as a result of global climate change, according to a new report published by the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
The ABI’s report The Financial Risks of Climate Change – which was produced by risk modelling firm AIR Worldwide – looked at the financial implications of the widely predicted temperature increases of two, four...
Spectre of new regulation looms for insurers
11 November 2009
New financial services regulation could be detrimental to insurers if not handled properly, a panel of insurance and reinsurance executives warned at Reactions’ Global Insurance Conference in Zurich, Switzerland on November 10.
New financial services regulation could be detrimental to insurers if not handled properly, a panel of insurance and reinsurance executives warned at Reactions’ Global Insurance Conference in Zurich, Switzerland on November 10. The panel, which was chaired by Reactions’ editor Michael Loney, included Paolo de Martin, Scor’s chief financial officer; James Illingworth, group chief risk officer of Lloyd’s insurer Amlin; Patrick Liedtke, secretary general and managing director of The Geneva Association; Mark Byrne, chairman and founder of Flagstone Re; and Costas Miranthis, CEO of PartnerRe Europe.
Liedtke kicked off the discussion by referring to a letter his association sent to the G-20 last week, urging it to take into account the specific nature of insurance and reinsurance when devising a new regulatory framework.
“If you look at the scope of this crisis, you can draw the conclusion that insurance as a system actually worked pretty well. This is...
The Hartford Introduces Benefits Solution
By Staff Reporter
To offer necessary income protection
The Hartford Financial Services Group has unveiled a total voluntary benefits solution for employers with one thousand or more employees.This new system of people, processes and technology for voluntary group life and disability insurance is the outcome of significant investments by The Hartford.
John Gallant, vice president of service operations for The Hartford’s Group Benefits Division, said: “We understand employers are stretched to their limits in today’s tough economy and are turning to voluntary benefits as an affordable way to offer important income protection to their employees. Our voluntary services can be customised to deliver a flexible benefit program to meet the unique needs of today’s employers.”
DUAL To Enhance Focus Products Suite
Appointed new member to its DUAL Focus team
DUAL Corporate Risks, a directors & officers and professional indemnity underwriting agency for mid-market companies, has appointed Liz Hanlon to its DUAL Focus team. The company claims that its DUAL Focus provides specialist insurance solutions for complex financial institution based risks.
HUB Acquires Mones & Associates Insurance Brokers From Aviva Canada
Transaction to expand Hub's presence in seven new Canadian locations
Hub International has acquired Mones & Associates Insurance Brokers (Mones), a personal and commercial insurance brokers company in Canada, from Aviva Canada. Mones also operates under the name of Arctic Insurance Brokers in select markets. The company said that as a result of this acquisition, it will expand its operations to seven new locations in Canada that include, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Iqaluit, Whitehorse and Yellowknife.
International Excess Opens Agriculture Business Insurance Unit
By Staff Reporter
To focus on crop insurance and farm and livestock insurance
US-based insurance broker, International Excess has opend new Agribusiness division which is expected to focus on crop insurance and farm and livestock insurance. The company has appointed Chuck Gabel as divisional vice president of International Excess Agribusiness. He has specialized in crop insurance and farm insurance for more than 20 years. Mr. Gabel said: "Insurance for Agribusiness has become my full-time passion and I'm working to give the farming industry the protection they deserve."
Marsh & Mclennan Agency Acquires Insurance Alliance
As part of an expansion strategy to cater to the needs of small-to-mid-sized companies across the country
Marsh & McLennan Agency, a subsidiary of insurance broker, Marsh, has acquired Texas-based Insurance Alliance, an independent insurance agency, as part of its expansion strategy. The move is intended to cater to the needs of small-to-mid-sized companies across the country.
Insurance Alliance has annual revenue of $15m and serves over 1,500 commercial clients located primarily in Texas and throughout the Southwest. The firm has specialist teams serving clients in construction, surety, energy and marine, professional services, general property and casualty, and employee benefits.
FPIC Insurance Completes Acquisition Of Advocate, MD Financial
By Staff Reporter
Expected to leverage the strengths of both the organizations
First Professionals Insurance, a subsidiary of FPIC Insurance Group, a provider of medical professional liability insurance for healthcare firms, has completed the acquisition of all of the outstanding capital stock of Advocate, MD and its subsidiaries.
Under the terms of the previously announced agreement, FPIC paid total consideration of $33.6m at closing, and may pay up to $12m in additional consideration depending on the performance of Advocate, MD during the two-year period following closing. In connection with the transaction, FPIC also retired all of Advocate MD’s outstanding bank debt, totaling $9m.
ACE Expands Structured Reinsurance Solutions
By Staff Reporter
Creates a new role of senior underwriter for structured risks
ACE Tempest Re Europe has appointed David Mann in the newly created role of senior underwriter for structured risks. His appointment is in line with the company's expansion of its product offering across its reinsurance division. The ACE Tempest Re Group oversees the reinsurance operations of the ACE Group of Companies.
Mr. Mann will be responsible for underwriting non-traditional bespoke reinsurance solutions across property, casualty and specialty lines. He will report to Andreas Lewin, managing director, ACE Tempest Re Europe and will be based in its London office. Mr. Mann joins ACE Tempest Re from Aspen Insurance, Bermuda, where he was most recently senior underwriter for structured risks.